Dump kids: Why "Jon & Kate" should lose some "8"

Wed Aug 5, 2009 2:24am EDT
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Jon & Kate Plus 8" returned to TLC on Monday with two new episodes. In one, Jon managed the renovation of the kitchen cabinets while Kate and the kids go to the beach; in the other, Kate took the kids camping and tried to start a fire by herself.

"Will the demands of outdoor camping be too much for Kate, or will a campout with eight kids prove to be surprisingly fun?" reads the description.

Of all the questions wondered by the millions of "Jon & Kate" viewers, that one is ... yeah ... not on the list.

TLC promotes "Jon & Kate" as a show about better parenting through product placement. But the hefty 4.2 million viewers who tuned in to the premiere wanted to glean tidbits about the parents' adult relationships. The Gosselins know it. The media sure know it. The only party that seems oblivious is TLC.

"The show has always been about the parents' relationship with their children. This is a family show," TLC president Eileen O'Neill recently told television critics.

She did dramatically announce there would be one major change to the series' format. Henceforth, Jon and Kate will be interviewed in separate chairs.

"The iconic couch is gone," she said.

Holy crap -- not the couch!   Continued...

<p>Jon and Kate Gosselin are seen with their children in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/TLC network/Handout</p>